When considering what kind of skin care products to buy and how to tailor your routine, you should ask yourself 'what type of skin do I have' and tailor your approach with your specific skin type in mind.
What is My Skin Type
You need to be aware that there are different skin types with their own set of characteristics. In the world of skin care it really helps to be informed on what these skin types are and what that means for you.
In this post we will explain the key differences between men and women’s skin, as well as the four different skin types to help boost your knowledge on this topic.
What are the differences between men and women’s skin?
At the Unknown, our products are optimized for men. So apart from the masculine look and smell of the products, what does this actually mean? Well let’s begin by running through the differences of men and women’s skin. Here are six notable differences:
1. Male skin is 25% thicker on average
Testosterone in men is the main reason why men have 25% thicker skin than women on average. There are other factors that influence the thickness of skin such as age and your environment, but 25% is a good average benchmark.
Men and women’s skin also ages differently, with male skin thinning gradually over time and female skin remaining relatively constant and thinning significantly after menopause.
2. Men have a higher collagen density
When we talk about density, we mean the ratio of collagen in relation to the thickness of skin. Men are naturally gifted with a higher collagen density than women.
There is some research to suggest that it is this higher collagen density that greatly influences the fact that men sometimes appear to age slower than women. Clearly this is not always the case so as guys we shouldn’t get complacent, but instead do our best to maintain this physiological advantage.
In fact, most men give up their natural collagen advantage by being inferior to women at protecting their skin from the sun and using the appropriate levels of sunscreen. The sun's UV radiation is the major cause of premature ageing, so failing to protect yourself from it properly will counter the benefits of that extra collagen.
This doesn’t need to be the case for you – just look after your skin properly and apply the correct levels of SPF. Read our post on SPF, UVA and UVB rays for more info on this.
3. Men have larger (and more) skin pores
The average adult has approximately 5 million pores (both for oil/hair and sweat), with around 20,000 on the face. That’s a lot of opportunities for bacteria to cause inflammation in the form of spots or pimples.
Men however have more sebaceous glands (the oil secreting tissue in the skin of mammals) and so we have more pores and larger pores than women. Our sebum (oil) production is also around twice that of women and so we tend to have oilier skin and are less prone to dry skin.
4. Due to shaving, men tend to have more sensitive skin
Ever wondered how many times you shave your face? Well the answer is around 16,000 times in a lifetime. Unsurprisingly, this makes our skin more prone to irritation and sensitivity by constantly stressing our skin and removing the top layer of skin cells.
5. Men’s skin has a different texture
The texture of male skin is generally seen as rougher than female skin and Stratum Corneum (the outermost layer of the skin) is thicker. As noted above, shaving can remove the outermost layer and cause irritation, but this textural difference means the skin is different whether you shave or not.
6. Men sweat more than women
About twice as much in fact. This is partly due to the onset of facial hair following puberty, but in addition we have more Lactic Acid in our sweat and thus a slightly lower PH level compared to women.
On the flip side, research suggests that male skin is naturally better hydrated (maybe down to the excess sweat). Don’t let this be a barrier however to you hydrating your skin properly through drinking enough water and moisturizing regularly.
Reading through the differences, you may start to deduce how products can be tailored and optimized to be more suitable for men.
As we have been developing our skin care range, we have taken these difference into account so each product is more optimized for male skin. We will support this optimization by including premium active ingredients and leaving out any questionable and harmful chemicals.
To be the among first to lean about our men's skin care launch, simply join our newsletter by sharing your email address using the form in our footer.
Aside from male vs female skin differences, the type of skin you have also plays an important role. More on this below.
What are the different skin types?
So now we move on to the different skin types and this time we can categorize into 4 main variations:
1. Normal skin
This can be a misleading description as it insinuates that other skin types are abnormal. It is nevertheless the usual term used to describe skin that is well balanced. Signs of normal skin include limited or no imperfections, a healthy-looking complexion, pores that are barely visible and no excessive sensitivities. Clearly if you have this type of skin then you have been lucky in the gene lottery.
2. Oily Skin
You may have guessed that this skin type refers to the fact that you produce excessive sebum (oil). Another name for this is seborrhea and aside from the obvious signs you may also notice that you have a shiny complexion, larger pores and suffer more from blackhead, pimples and other forms of acne or imperfections.
3. Dry skin
Dry skin is in many ways the opposite of oily skin. Your skin will often be irritated, inflamed and it will crack or peel. Other signs are a rough looking complexion, red patches and more visible lines.
4. Combination skin
The final skin type is a combination of the other three already mentioned. It is likely to vary in type in different areas of your face and body, particularly when considering your forehead, nose and chin (often referred to as the T-zone). If you feel that you have signs of normal, dry and oily skin in depending on the area, then you likely have combination skin.
Why Does Your Skin Type Matter?
To put it simply, different skin types and characteristics benefit more from using products, treatments and techniques with their specific needs in mind. A good example would be that it would be counter-productive to apply excessively oily products onto oily skin as you could be inadvertently adding to an existing problem.
Once you have confidently identified your skin type, make sure you research what type of products and ingredients are most likely to be beneficial for you and the least likely to cause you further problems. Make sure you cross reference any marketing claims against the ingredients list – any major contradictions should act as a red flag.
When you start using a new skin product you should wait around 28 days before you should start noticing results, and there may need to be some trial and error in terms of products as the same skin product can have a different level of impact on different skin. It's worth it though - with a little patience and persistence then you will eventually find products that will really make a big difference to you.
We are confident that our skin care range (in development at the time of writing this blog) will add significant value by using premium ingredients optimized for men’s skin, so make sure you share your email in our footer below to be notified about the launch.
Also feel free to share your thoughts, questions and feedback on our article by leaving in a comment in the box below.